New cycle routes into Ely city centre face the chop

Lynn Road, Ely, unlikely to get new cycle routes into the city centre and to the station 

Lynn Road, Ely, unlikely to get new cycle route into the city centre - Credit: Google

A housebuilder is hoping East Cambridgeshire District Council will remove a planning obligation to provide new cycle routes into Ely city centre.  

Hopkins Homes wants to amend the condition which was agreed when new homes at Ely North were approved.  

The requirement was for new cycle routes to the city centre. 

The variation proposed by Hopkins Homes is opposed by Ely Cycling Campaign who has called for others to object.  

Hopkins agree cycleway improvements along Lynn Road from King Edgar Close to Egremont Street were due to happen prior to occupation of the 200th house. 

“Extensive discussions have taken place with and between Cambridgeshire County Council Highways and East Cambs District Council for over five years to try to reach agreement on an appropriate scheme,” it has told planners. 

“Multiple design revisions have been undertaken to try to achieve a scheme to Highway Authority standards.  

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“There are insufficient footpath/road widths on Lynn Road in the vicinity of Egremont Street to provide improvements all the way down Lynn Road to this junction.” 

Hopkins says the highway authority raised concerns in 2017 that Lynn Road has a “significant amount of on street marked and kerbed parking bays in sections nearest the city”. 

And their removal “would result in a high amount of displaced parking, which would raise highway safety issues elsewhere”.  

Hopkins says an updated scheme of proposals are undergoing technical review by Cambridgeshire County Council Highways to provide cycleway improvements to the required highway authority standards as far as practical along Lynn Road. 

This means they would end at the zebra pedestrian crossing on Lynn Road by New Barns Avenue/St Audrey's Way.  

“This updated scheme would not result in the loss of any of the existing on street parking,” says Hopkins.  

Prior to completion of the final home in their first phase of housing they say they will ensure off site cycleway improvements along Lynn Road, from King Edgar Close to New Barns Avenue/St Audrey's Way pedestrian crossing. 

One objector has told the council it is difficult to city specific planning reasons for a variation because the facility is yet to be provided.  

"Clearly you cannot claim it is a loss of amenity or facilities if it doesn't yet exist,” the resident says.  

“However, it must be treated as a loss because the permission has been granted on the basis that these facilities are provided, so to remove them is equivalent to their loss.” 

The City of Ely Council says it has no concerns “subject to there being full agreement from East Cambs District Council and Cambs County Council as to the route from the development to the centre of town”. 

Comments must be with the council by July 31. 

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